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Junior Faculty Win Abramson Award for Teaching

By Jalin P. Cunningham, Crimson Staff Writer

Associate professors Ruth Bielfeldt and Sarah S. Richardson were awarded the annual Roslyn Abramson Award for excellence in undergraduate teaching last week.

The award is given to two junior professors from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences each year and comes with a monetary reward of $10,000. The award was originally established by Edward M. Abramson ’57 in honor of his mother.

Richardson, who currently serves as an associate professor in the History of Science Department and the Committee on Degrees in Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality, said she was “utterly floored” to be recognized.

“Like everyone here, I pour my heart into teaching,” Richardson said.

She currently studies the history of maternal fetal science and plans to author a book on the subject in the future. According to Richardson, the field of fetal science is interesting because it encourages people to think about the human body in a completely different way, and because it “poses a different picture of history of life sciences in the twenty-first century.”

“It’s just fascinating, and it’s a field that has changed incredibly in the past 100 years or so,” Richardson said. With the $10,000, she hopes to fund travel and research over the summer, as well as to continue to write her book.

“It’s very, very, welcome,” she said.

Bielfeldt, an associate professor in the Classics Department, teaches “courses in the art and archaeology of the classical world,” according to her faculty page.

“When I write a monograph I write it with an ideal reader in my mind, knowing that he [or] she may not exist in real life,” Bielfeldt wrote in an email. “ When I teach at this university my ideal audience is always my actual one—Harvard’s students. This is why I am so thrilled.”

With the prize money, Bielfeldt wrote that she hopes to fund a project studying “largely forgotten and unpublished” objects from Pompeii and Naples, two towns with ruins from the Roman Empire.

“We need to study the material in Naples and Pompeii, and the extra funding is highly appreciated,” she added.

—Staff writer Jalin P. Cunningham can be reached at jalincunningham@college.harvard.edu. Follow her on Twitter @JalinCunningham.

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